Feeding your baby

The first six months your baby can live off of just drinking milk either by breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Your baby does not need anything else yet. After six months your baby will also start to eat solid foods. You will then slowly familiarize your baby with different baby nutrition.

Breast milk or bottle feed?

Breast milk is the best thing you can give your baby. But breastfeeding isn’t always easy in that case bottle feeding is a good alternative. Breastfeeding has many benefits, but it takes practice and it could be that you could use some advice on how to guide your baby. Of course the maternity nurses at BabyCare are all schooled and experienced in this. It’s also possible to contact our lactation consultants.

Solid food for your baby

When your baby is six months old, he will be ready for solid food. The milk then no longer contains all the necessary nutrients your baby requires.

How do you know if your baby is ready for solid food?

Basically you start giving solid food once your baby is six months old. However it is not uncommon for a baby to be ready for this earlier. You can recognize this by observing that your baby, when it’s time to eat, eagerly eyes your food. Or when your baby starts to smack when you are eating your food and when he/she themselves starts putting everything in their mouth.

Disadvantages of starting solid food early

When you start with giving solid food early it is possible that your baby wants less breast milk and your milk production decreases. It is also possible that your baby gets an allergic reaction to certain kinds of nutrients. To decide if starting early is suitable for your baby it is wise to discuss this with your clinic.

How to give your baby its first bite?

Of course every child needs first to learn how to eat off a spoon. He needs to learn to bite and to swallow. It may therefore take a while before this happens neatly. It’s important when feeding your baby to take plenty of time and have your full attention on the task. Especially when you start it is better to only put food on the front part of the spoon. Force feeding has an adverse effect. It mainly has to be fun. Talk to him/her and tell them how tasty, nice and cosy it is.

Especially the first few times you feed your baby only a few bites will be eaten. It’s important that you don’t expect too much, but primarily focus on the reactions of your baby to this completely new experience.

Is your own cooking better than a ready baby meal in a jar?

For the taste development a ready baby meal is not the best choice seeing as the taste is often bland and the structure soft. These little jars do satisfy the strict rules imposed on the production of baby food and therefore contain all the necessary nutrients your baby needs. In Dutch ready baby food jars there are no conservatives and they contain practically no salt. To have your baby experience different kinds of vegetables and fruit you will have to offer these to him/her fresh. Of course it is possible to alternate between your own cooking and little jars. It is wise to offer home cooked food more often than food from a little jar.

Baby Nutrition: What not to eat the first year?

Coarse whole wheat products

From six months babies may eat bread, but their intestines won’t be able to properly process coarse whole wheat products yet. That is why it is better not to eat whole wheat products like wholemeal bread, -spaghetti, -macaroni and brown rice.

Cow milk

Normal cow milk contains too much protein and too little iron for kids less than one year old. For kids up until the first year you should therefore use infant formula. After their first year normal milk is fine.

Which vegetables should you avoid?

It is best to watch out with nitrate-rich vegetables, cabbage and raw vegetables.

Nitrate-rich vegetables such as endive, spinach, celery and bok choy are not harmful. Only if you preserve these vegetables and heat them, the nitrate can be converted into nitrite which is harmful.

The intestines of a one year old are not yet mature enough to handle cabbages like kale, leeks, onions, red cabbage, white cabbage and green cabbage. Exceptions are broccoli and cauliflower these your baby may have.

Use salt sparingly

The kidneys of a baby cannot yet handle salt very well. In the preparation of food for your baby, it is important to not use salt in the cooking of the food. Please note that in ready-made sauces and soups there is a lot of salt. Don’t feed your baby cheese spread and/or spread-sausages on bread more than twice a week. Spread-sausage also contains a lot of vitamin A. Of this vitamin your child may not receive too much. Occasionally 1 or 2 sandwiches per week are not too bad.

Use sugar sparingly

When your baby becomes accustomed too little or no sugar then (later) your child will not have a need for this either. Sugar is high in calories which is detrimental to the body weight and bad for the emerging teeth of your baby. It is best to give your child water and diluted tea. When you do give fruit juice, dilute it extra with water. When you give juice concentrate, syrup or Roosvicee dilute it more than what it says on the package. Do not give your child custard, but instead yogurt without sugar.

Don’t give honey

In honey there can be traces of bacteria that can make your baby very sick. Also honey is bad for your baby’s teeth just like sugar.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about the nurturing of your baby or do you want to apply for maternity care? Please don’t hesitate to contact us or register now for superior maternity care for mother and child!